Illegal immigrant licenses stall in Illinois House

| Friday, April 29, 2005

A bill that would allow illegal immigrants in Illinois to obtain driver’s licenses is back in committee after coming close to a final vote in the House.

The bill, HB0129, introduced by Rep. Ed Acevedo, D-Chicago, would compel the secretary of state to issue a driver’s license to an immigrant who is ineligible for a social security number if that applicant has met specific requirements.

Under the bill, an illegal immigrant seeking a license would be required to provide:

  • A taxpayer identification number;
  • An affidavit saying that the applicant will file to become a permanent resident;
  • A current passport;
  • A foreign birth certificate; and
  • A photograph and digital fingerprints.

There would be several other differences between the licenses issued under the bill and other Illinois driver’s licenses. Those issued under the bill would be required to be visually different from other Illinois driver’s licenses. In addition, the licenses issued under the bill would come with an extra fee that would be used to pay for extra processing required for illegal immigrants’ licenses.

Like other drivers, immigrants who received the licenses would have to obtain valid insurance to stay on the road.

Those who receive licenses under the bill would not be eligible for commercial driver’s licenses.

The Executive Committee of the Illinois House gave its stamp of approval to the measure March 9 on an 8-3 vote. It then went to the House floor to await discussion and a final vote.

However, the bill was sent back recently to the Rules Committee, where it remains at this time.

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